Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 4

Then Mr.H said to me “There’s an old shrine called Ichi-no-miya of Shima on the seaside of Toba. The road to the shrine is narrow and the shrine is hard to reach, but would you like to go?” Feeling something attractive about the shrine, I decided to go there.

  • shrine 神社
  • narrow 狭い
  • attractive 魅力的な

The narrow forest road often made us hesitate to go on. But since he told me that he had been there before by car, we moved on. The road was narrower than I expected and very bumpy. There were a lot of sharp carves on the way and I often pulled up my car at the corner, saying “Are you serious?”

  • forest road 林道
  • hesitate ためらう
  • bumpy でこぼこの
  • pull up A Aを止める

We continued to go through the thicket, my car’s door mirrors almost touching the trees and plants. It was lucky that there was no oncoming car. An oncoming one could have made me run off.

  • thicket 藪
  • oncoming car 対向車
  • run off 脱輪する

Having managed to pass through the thicket, we reached a beautiful, small cove. I stopped my car and we walked to the shrine on the seaside, Izawa-shrine(伊射波神社). Beyond the Torii, a front guard frame, there was a long, steep approach to the shrine. The approach was so hard to walk on that an old man couldn’t walk. Walking about a hundred meters, I stopped to look back. A very beautiful blue ocean was lying beyond the Torii.

  • manage to~ どうにかして〜する
  • cove 入江
  • approach 参道
  • look back 振り返ってみる
  • lie 横たわる

The sight of the view made me see a vision of an ancient world in my mind, where a strange creature was crawling the approach, whose upper part of the body was that of a human but its lower part was that of a crocodile. The creature’s stomach was bulging out, so I thought it was pregnant. The creature crawled up the steep approach and at the shrine on top of the approach it gave birth to her child. My Kenzoku-shin told me that the child was Toyotama-hime.

  • ancient 古代の
  • crocodile ワニ
  • crawl 這う
  • pregnant 妊娠した
  • steep 急な
  • give birth to A Aを出産する

A behavior of sea creatures like a sea turtle giving birth on land seems to have existed since ancient times. Sand of a beach is not suitable for lay an egg in terms of heat humidity retention, so such sea creatures must have climbed a mountain to lay an egg. Thanks to this vision, I understood that Sandou(参道), an approach to a shrine, means Sandou(産道), a birth canal, and that Ubusuna(産土), a birth place, means Ubusuna(産砂), sand for childbirth.

  • behavior 行動
  • suitable 適した
  • humidity retention 保湿
  • mean 意味する

Then I remembered seeing the same kind of vision at Kotohiragu(金刀比羅宮) in Shikoku district. I feel that, in many parts of the world on the Pacific Ocean of ancient times, there existed creatures of spiritually half-human and half-crocodile for a short period of time in human evolution. They lived in a half-material, half-spiritual world in a super ancient time before this world was materialized.

  • district 地方
  • part 地域
  • exist 存在する
  • evolution 進化
  • materialize 物質化する

Descriptions of such creatures are found here and there in Japanese myths. They are like characters of anime, but the authors of the myths or legends might have just described the truth. The modern science completely denies the human evolution from spiritual beings to material ones.This is why it cannot unlock the secret of how life came into being.

  • description 描写
  • myth 神話
  • deny 否定する
  • unlock 明かす
  • come into being 生じる

The name of Izawa is the same as the name of Izawa-no-miya(伊雑宮). The two shrines are near to each other. “Izawa” suggests the deity who “induces and unites” and also the goddess who reconciled her parents, Izanagi and Izanami.

  • each other お互い
  • induce 促す
  • unite 統合する
  • reconcile 和解させる

I also feel in the word “Izawa” the existence of Jews who came to Ise in ancient times. I perceived the existence of the prophet called Isaiah,too. I think the custom inherited by people in Ise of putting up Shime-nawa, a rope used to cordon off consecrated areas or as a talisman against evil, at their entrances is derived from the custom that was practiced by Ancient Jews. I was impressed by a lot of shrines in Toba where deities are still spiritually active.

To be continued.

  • existence 存在
  • Jews ユダヤ人
  • perceive 近くする
  • prophet 預言者
  • derived 由来する
  • impress 感銘を与える

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

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Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 3

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I met with Mr.H living in Ise, and we decided to go into the woods as far as the source of Isuzu river (五十鈴川)because visiting common places would be boring. On the way, I found a small local shrine near Naiku (内宮)called Uji shrine(宇治神社). Its deity is called “god of foot” and I hear some famous marathon runner visits this shrine to pray.

  • source  源
  • shrine 神社
  • on the way 途中で
  • pray 祈願する

When passing the shrine by car, I perceived strong spiritual energy of a fox spirit. Unfortunately, a lot of negative energy of human greed was accumulated there and its original function was hidden. According to Mr.H, the shrine had existed before Niku was founded and it’s the center of the indigenous faith. Some people suspect it used to be the true Ise Grand Shrine. Because of my Kenzokushin’s order, I decided to visit the shrine again on the way back.

  • perceive 近くする
  • unfortunately 残念なことに
  • greed 欲望
  • accumulate 蓄積させる
  • indigenous 土着の

The forest road along Isuzu river was very narrow and dangerous. It was within the holy precincts of Ise Grand Shrine and general people other than inhabitants were prohibited from entering it. The road was so narrow that two cars couldn’t pass each other. On the left side of the road was the precipice of the river. I drove carefully with a truck for forestry or a local person’s car often coming from the opposite direction.

  • narrow 狭い
  • precincts 境内
  • other than 以外の
  • prohibit 禁止する
  • precipice 断崖

Historically speaking, the whole basin of Isuzu river belonged to Ise Grand Shrine, but parts of the area were registered by private citizens after the World War Ⅱ under the direction of GHQ, General Headquarters of the Allied Forces.

  • historically speaking 歴史的に言えば
  • basin 流域
  • register 登録する
  • direction 指示

Going up the river a little, I found the river suddenly narrowed. I was very surprised to see a lot of megalithic groups near or in the river. There were some gigantic stones as large as a house. Such a scenery is peculiar to Ise, I thought.

  • narrow 狭くなる
  • suddenly 突然
  • megalithic group 巨石群
  • peculiar 特有の

Ancient gigantic stones called Iwakura(磐座) are where God descends on. They function as memory devices for spiritual energy of Holy Spirit. The larger a stone, the more spiritual energy it can amass.

  • ancient 古代の
  • descend 降臨する
  • device 装置
  • amass 溜め込む

I felt that this geological formation where a lot of gigantic stones lie has something to do with the reason why Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神) chose Ise as the sacred place of God. I suppose that there are a number of gigantic stones as large as a house deep under the ground of Naiku and Geku(外宮)of Ise Grand Shrine.

  • geological formation 地層
  • have something to do with A Aと何か関係がある
  • sacred 神聖な
  • suppose 仮定する

After looking at the megalithic groups along the river, I visited Uji shrine. This shrine is outside the jurisdiction of Ise Grand Shrine. There was a signboard in front of the main building, on which the names of deities and famous historical people were written. This way of spelling their names is wrong, I thought.

  • jurisdiction 管轄
  • signboard 掲示板
  • building 建物

Looking at a small mountain in front of the main building casually, I felt strong holy energy. The mountain itself must’ve been a super gigantic stone. Then I got a vision that ancient people are performing rituals regarding this gigantic stone as Iwakura. I thought the rumor that this shrine might be the origin of Naiku is not altogether unreasonable. After this, I headed for a much more dangerous spot.

To be continued.

  • casually 何気なく
  • ritual 儀式
  • rumor 噂
  • not altogether 完全に〜という訳ではない
  • head for A Aに向かう

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 2

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After eating Ise-udon, I started walking to the Ise Station, when I found a shrine next the one in front of the restaurant. The same Inari-shin(稲荷) as that of Geku was enshrined there. I thought “I knew it.” The faith of Inari-shin had spread all over Ise.

  • enshrine 祀る
  • faith 信仰
  • spread  広がる

I got into my car I had parked at a coin-operated parking and headed for Yamato-hime-miya(倭姫宮). It was near the town and a good, quiet shrine with a long approach surrounded by the deep forest.

  • coin-operated parking コインパーキング
  • head for A Aに向かう
  • approach 参道
  • surround 囲む

I feel that Yamato-hime, an Imperial princess and the originator of a shinto priest, was a lady whose face was round with the forehead bulging a little bit. Her face shows that she was a strong-willed and hot-tempered woman. Such a  woman is most suitable for divine possession. Though she may not have been happy as a woman, she was loved by Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神).

  • Imperial 皇室の
  • originator 始祖
  • round 丸い
  • forehead 額
  • divine 神の

Then I visited Tsukiyomi-no-miya(月讀宮). I didn’t expect for anything special there, but it was a good shrine, too. There were four buildings side by side in the precinct. Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto(月讀尊) was enshrined in the two buildings each, and Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto were enshrined in the other two buildings.

  • expect 期待する
  • side by side 並んで
  • precinct 境内
  • each それぞれ

As soon as I prayed in front the building of Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto, I unexpectedly felt the energy of Susanoo, which is an important hint as to the mystery of the true identity of Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto. If the four buildings represented that Susanoo, who strayed from his parents according to Kojiki, Japan’s oldest historical record, and his parents, the meaning of three deities being enshrined together would be more clear.

  • as soon as S+V SがVするとすぐに
  • unexpectedly 意外なことに
  • as to A Aに関する
  • true identity 正体
  • represent 表す

Tsukiyomi-no-miya is near Naiku(内宮), so it looks like Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami is watching over by her brother and parents. Though the description about Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto disappears abruptly in Japanese myths, I believe the name Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto is an alternate name of Susanoo in Yomi-no-kuni, the nether world.

  • watch over A  Aを見守る
  • abruptly 唐突に
  • myth 神話
  • alternate 別の
  • nether world 黄泉の国

Lastly, I drove to Mt. Asama on the highway Ise-Shima Skyline, reaching it just in time for its opening hours. I climbed to the top of the mountain because it was an important point for sun worship. It being evening then, there was something mysterious, or an aura of the nether world, about the temple at the top.

  • in time  間に合って
  • sun worship 太陽崇拝
  • aura オーラ

Then I left there for the observation platform. There was a footbath there and around it I found some debris of Iwakura, a rock where divine energy falls down. I was immersed in my feelings for a while, thinking about Mt.Hakusan.

  • observation platform 展望台
  • debri 残骸
  • be immerced in A Aに耽る

I drove down to the town for a business meeting and the first night of my business trip to Ise was over. I was to go out with the local man in quest of Ise the next day. It was something of an adventure.

To be continued.

  • stray off 
  • quest 探索
  • something of a A ちょっとしたA
  • adventure 冒険

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 1

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Late in March, I was told by a client company to go on a business trip to Mie prefecture. It was a three-day trip beginning from April 8. The next morning, while I was performing a shinto ritual, my Kenzoku-shin informed me that this business trip would be very important, and ordered that I should bring all the kami-fuda(神札), a kind of talisman issued by shinto shrines, in my house with me.

  • client  顧客
  • prefecture 県
  • ritual 儀式
  • inform 知らせる
  • issue 発行する

Luckily, I happened to have nothing to do on April 9, so a local person, who lived in Ise and was related to the client company, offered to be a guide to show me around great spots in the nature of Ise that only local people knew.

  • happen to~  たまたま〜する
  • show A around B AにBを案内する

On the first day, April 8, I left my house before dawn and arrived at the company in Mie prefecture around 9:00. I finished almost all the work by noon, so I headed for Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮).

  • dawn 夜明け
  • almost ほとんど
  • head for A Aに向かう

Getting to the main entrance of Geku, I was surprised to see a lot of trucks and heavy machines in the precincts. They were for Shikinen-sengu ceremony(式年遷宮), where the buildings in Ise Grand Shrine are all rebuilt every twenty years. The water in front of the main building was being drained. I went to the front of the main building to pray, with heavy machines making a lot of noise.  Unusually, I didn’t feel anything special while praying. I just dedicated my gratitude to God for all people, including me, being kept alive.

  • heavy machine 重機
  • precinct 境内
  • rebuild 改築する
  • drain 排水する
  • pray 祈る
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

Then I went to another building called Taka-no-miya(多賀宮)in Geku, where I perceived the same symbol of Polaris with strange color that I felt every time I go to the main building. I wondered if the deity moved there because of the construction. The local person I met the next day told me that the name Taka-no-miya is derived from the fact that it was at a higher place than the main building. (“Taka” means “high” in Japanese)

  • perceive 知覚する
  • Polaris  北極星
  • construction 工事
  • be derived 由来する

After visiting Geku, I walked to Tsukiyomi-no-miya(月夜見宮). There was an elementary school on the way. It was break time of the school, so I heard a joyful, energetic voice of the children playing on the schoolyard.

  • elementary school 小学校
  • on the way 途中で
  • schoolyard 校庭

Hardly had I reached Tsukiyomi-no-miya when I perceived figurines in the shape of a fox and an altar, which were in front of a hole of a big tree in the left side of the main building, emitting spiritual magnetism. I had an interest in it. The local person said to me “Neighbors must’ve put those things without permission. Jingu side seems to be overlooking it in deference to the faith they have.” The figurines and altar, I felt, were not put for such a simple reason. The people in the neighborhood have had an  indigenous faith so firmly since a long time ago that Jingu side cannot help but admit it.

  • figurine 像
  • altar 祭壇
  • emit 放出する
  • magnetsim 磁気
  • permission 許可
  • overlook 大目に見る
  • indigenous 土着の

Having visited Tsukiyomi-no-miya, I felt like eating Ise-udon, so I went to a famous restaurant near Uji-Yamada station. The Ise-udon served there was much more delicious than that in other restaurants for tourists and it was quite reasonable in price and amount. A lot of local people were coming into the restaurant one after another. The restaurant is a good restaurant loved by the local people, I thought.

To be continued.

  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • one after  another 次から次へと
  • to be continued 続く

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Enjoying Brown Rice in Soup

My working hours has changed since the beginning of this year, so I eat lunch at home and work at night, adapting myself to overseas business. There being a lot of brown rice I bought last fall, I heat it in soup stock and eat it every day. It’s really delicious.

  • adapt  適応させる
  • overseas 海外の
  • brown rice 玄米
  • soup stock 出汁
  • tasty 美味しい

I put a bowl of brown rice, a little sea salt, soup stock made from soy sauce, root tangle and water into a pan and heat it. When it boils, I stop heating. It takes only ten minutes as a whole. If you heat it a little longer, the brown rice becomes softer, but you’ll be hungry soon after eating it. I usually eat dinner my wife cooks early in the evening.

  • soy sauce 醤油
  • root tangle 根昆布
  • boil 沸騰する
  • as a whole 全体として

When you pour it from the pan into a large bowl, the bowl is filled with the soup to the edge with the brown rice sinking to its bottom. Cooling it, I eat it slowly. It’s like I eat a hot-pot or noodle soup. Though I eat it every day, I’m not fed up with it because the taste is a little bit different each time due to the amount of salt and soup stock I put into it. If you add seaweed or dried squid to it, the taste changes. It would be interesting to make its taste weaker, too.

  • fill  満たす
  • edge 端
  • sink 沈む
  • hot-pot 鍋
  • be fed up うんざりする
  • each time 毎回

I’m going to change the kind of salt and soup stock I put into it.  I eat out several times a month, but no other food is better than the brown rice in soup I cook. I can feel power in eating it. Its cost is only 50 yen, including the price of seasoning.

  • several いくつかの
  • cost 費用
  • including 〜を含めて
  • seasoning 調味料

With the economic situations in Japan getting worse for the last six months, I’m grateful to my Kenzoku-shin(眷属神)for the suggestion that I should eat brown rice. Brown rice is a really good economical meal and leads to good evacuation and health. And above all, eating it gives me a strange sense of security. The temperature difference being extreme these days, I hope for a good yield of brown rice in fall.

  • economic 経済の
  • grateful 感謝して
  • suggestion 示唆
  • evacuation 便通
  • above all 何にも増して
  • sense of security 安心感
  • temperature 気温

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE